Dear Harper Lee,

We all feel so, so sad hearing of your passing. We are also so grateful to have known you forever through your unequaled masterpiece, “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

As an actor I had the chance to perform the “last Atticus” out here in Southern California, at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon, which is a far cry from Monroeville, Alabama. Or may I say, Maycomb County. I hear there are plans to take it to Broadway next year! I hope Aaron Sorkin calls me to play Atticus, because I should be the guy to do it, coming from Mobile and all.

However, the summer of 2015 will always be the time of my life because it was then that I had the privilege to play, all summer long, the iconic Atticus Finch. The ideas, Harper, if I may, or the notions you introduced to us so long ago will “live on” in our hearts as they drive us in our efforts to understand ourselves and to understanding our fellow human beings.

We remember what you said to us. Things like, “to never kill a mockingbird because all they do is sing” and “to take baby steps” toward our ideals as Atticus did in defending Tom Robinson, “to do the jobs nobody else wants to do,” to remember “that you do not know a person until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” All these things and more come to us as we remember you and your sweet, sweet, soul, my dear Harper Lee.

Richard Tyson/Atticus Finch, Hollywood